5/26/14 Student of Month inspires peers

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Student of Month inspires peers
By Briona Kiser, Times-News correspondent, The Times-News 5/6/14  
Reprinted with permission.


   Clay Yarborough, a jazz band guitarist, Scholastic Gold Key winner and movie fan, is May’s Student of the Month. Clay is “not only a wonderful artist, but he is a genuinely kind person,” said art teacher Elizabeth Wertz, who nominated him for May’s Student of the Month.

   Wertz said that art plays a large role in Clay’s life. He is a senior at Western Alamance High School and has taken art the past three years. He enjoys drawing (and is excellent, if I may say so myself) as well as working with ink and many other mediums.

   “I watch in amazement and awe as he creates. He is an inspiration to his peers and he exudes high standards,” Wertz said. When asked about his artwork, Clay described it as “simple but complex, spontaneous, emotional and energetic,” while many of his classmates nodded in agreement.

   Overall, Clay has taken six art classes, including Advanced Placement (AP) Drawing, where he won a Scholastic Gold Portfolio, a national art award. In addition, Clay’s work has won seven Gold Keys, four Silver Keys and an American Visions Award. The American Visions Award is Scholastic’s “Best In Show” award, and with this, Yarborough and Wertz will both be visiting Carnegie Hall in New York next month to have his award formally presented.

   In addition to his outstanding art record, Clay is highly involved with band. He has taken multiple music courses all four years in school, including Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, and was part of the Marching Band. Clay has played guitar for seven years and is an acoustic guitarist for his church band at Peoples Memorial Christian Church.

   Following high school, Clay will attend Appalachian State University. He is undecided on his major, but is positive he wants to focus on something dealing with art and is not ready to give up his art career.

   “I wholeheartedly expect to see Clay’s artwork in major museums in the future,” Wertz said. Art classmate August Cherry described Clay as “humble, a leader, and inspirational.”

   As he has touched many community members with both his art and music, Clay is sure to be highly successful in whatever he may do and will have an entire community of support standing behind him. While high school comes to a close for Clay, he is excited to begin the next chapter of life and is eager to continue on his journey.

   Briona Kiser is a senior at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer